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The Associated Press reported that Iranian President Rouhani called on Muslim countries to strengthen financial and trade cooperation and reduce dependence on the US dollar at an Islamic conference in Malaysia on December 19.
Establish Muslim Cryptocurrency to Replace USD
According to Rouhani, economic sanctions are "a major tool for the US to be overbearing and bullying other countries." He proposed the establishment of a special banking and financial system between Muslim countries using local currencies for trade. Local reports confirm that Rohany proposes to create a cryptocurrency for this purpose.
According to the Associated Press, Rouhani said:
The Muslim world should devise measures to save itself from the control of the US dollar and the US financial system.
Malaysia supports Iran
Leaders of major Muslim countries such as Turkey, Qatar and host country Malaysia attended the meeting, while Saudi Arabia and Pakistan did not attend.
According to the Malaysian newspaper Free Malaysia Today, the country's prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, endorsed the initiative. This is the only support the Iranian president has received so far. Mohamed Zan pointed out that this is the first time Iran and Turkey have considered the idea of creating a dollar alternative. He says:
We can use our national currency or our common currency.
Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized the Islamic Cooperation Organization, saying that the agency "lacks execution" in uniting the Muslim world. Erdogan also outlined the need for Muslim countries to focus on Islamic financing and suggested the establishment of a task force.
Other countries trying to bypass U.S. sanctions with cryptocurrencies
To escape U.S. sanctions, some countries have been considering creating cryptocurrencies. At the end of September, North Korean authorities announced plans to issue a digital currency. Some experts believe that this move is designed to help the country bypass US sanctions.
In addition, Venezuela also uses cryptocurrencies to circumvent US sanctions. It launched Petro in February 2018, the world's first country-backed petroleum cryptocurrency.